According to the researchers, globally one in three people drink alcohol.
"This study is a stark reminder of the real, and potentially lethal, dangers that too much alcohol can have on our health and that even the lowest levels of alcohol intake increase our risks", said Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in the United Kingdom, in a statement. These results aren't comforting either: Any amount of alcohol use was linked to worsening health conditions, although, as expected, the risk was contingent upon how much a person drinks.
Among the many findings, the research showed that drinking alcohol was the seventh leading risk factor for premature death and disease in 2016. There are multiple causes of death related to alcohol drinking and is associated with tuberculosis, road injuries, self harm and cancers.
Sorry, wine lovers. A global study published by the Lancet says even small amounts of alcohol consumption are unsafe. The study compiled data from almost 700 other surveys and research efforts to draw a more comprehensive picture of the effects of alcohol consumption and, well, it's not looking good.
"The level of consumption that minimises health loss due to alcohol use is zero", the authors wrote.
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Specifically, for people who consume one drink a day, the risk of develop one of 23 alcohol-related health problems increases by 0.5 percent over one year, compared with someone who doesn't drink.
"There is always a lag between the publication of new evidence and the modification and adoption of revised guidelines", said Gakidou, who admitted to being an "occasional drinker" herself.
Other harmful consequences from drinking alcohol included accidents and violence.
Alcohol is associated with 2.8 million deaths each year worldwide. "If you're running a health system in a country, it's better overall for the population of your country to not drink at all than to drink a little bit".
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A drink was defined as 10g of alcohol, which equates to a small glass of wine, a can or bottle of beer, or a shot of spirits.
The study shows that British women drink an average of three drinks a day, and rank eighth in the world of highest drinkers. That includes alcohol-caused vehicle accidents and an increased risk of cancer and infectious disease.
They have emerged as the age group in this country who are the highest drinkers among women studied in the Global Burden of Disease study in "The Lancet" medical journal.
It analysed 694 global data sources in addition to 592 prospective and retrospective studies on alcohol consumption and found that approximately a quarter of the planet (2bn people) were drinkers, 63pc of who were male. Even one drink, Griswold says, can have consequences.
"There is a compelling and urgent need to overhaul policies to encourage either lowering people's levels of alcohol consumption or abstaining entirely", Dr. Emmanuela Gakidou of the University of Washington, senior author of the work, explains.
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